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  • Jun 24, 2019
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    Have human and societies become less violent? Are digital wallets ever good for the economy? Have we been measuring national power the wrong way for centuries? Aditya Ramanathan, Anirudh Kanisetti and Pranay Kotasthane have rather strong opinions about these difficult questions in this episode of All Things Policy. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: […]
  • Jun 24, 2019
    After winning re-election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for his first multilateral engagement. India has used the 2019 Bishkek summit to balance its approach between conflicting interests of the US and China. It stands to gain from the SCO’s peace process in Afghanistan, the decision to use local currencies […]
  • Jun 21, 2019
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    What does the history of the Indian subcontinent teach us about maritime power and the behavior of sea-states? For that matter, why and what is a sea-state? Aditya Ramanathan and Anirudh Kanisetti have a grand time geeking out over naval history and theory to answer these questions. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes […]
  • Jun 21, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly newsletter offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the SCO and CICA meetings, India’s approach to Huawei, discussions around the RCEP deal, the World Bank’s new report on BRI, the US-China trade war and much more. I. SCO & CICA Over the weekend, SCO […]
  • Jun 21, 2019
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    Download the Discussion Document in PDF Six out of the eight nuclear weapons states have not ruled out first use of nuclear weapons. This document examines why states choose first use policies and the challenges involved in maintaining such a position. States can be motivated to acquire nuclear weapons for both existential reasons and the […]
  • Jun 21, 2019
    The Big Story: China-Pakistan Military Relations General Han Weiguo, the Commander of the PLA Ground Forces, was in Pakistan this week. General Han, during his visit, met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa. He visited Pakistan’s Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi. During his visit, Han lauded Pakistan army’s achievements […]
  • Jun 20, 2019
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    Iran has shot down an American UAV just days after the US blamed it for attacks on the two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. What do deteriorating US-Iran relations mean for India? Anand Arni, Pranay Kotasthane, Manoj Kewalramani and Aditya Ramanathan discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts […]
  • Jun 20, 2019
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    Download the report in PDF This report argues that the Indian government must consider the strategic implications of allowing Huawei to have a role in building and operating India’s 5G network infrastructure. While there exists an economic rationale for providing Chinese telecom vendors access to the Indian market, these benefits need to be weighed against […]
  • Jun 19, 2019
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the Maldives is the latest move in a contest for power in the Indian Ocean region. How can India win? Manoj Kewalramani and Shibani Mehta join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Jun 18, 2019
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    Anupam Manur and Gayatri Ganpule join Shambhavi Naik in discussing proposed policies of the prime ministerial candidates in the UK, Saudi Arabia’s Soverign-Wealth fund, the latest development by Michelin and General Motors, how shocks to the brain may improve creativity and much more topics that were featured in ‘The Economist’. Subscribe and listen to the […]
  • Jun 18, 2019
    In our monthly column on India’s foreign policy in Rajasthan Patrika, we write that India’s “neighbourhood first” policy first requires a reimagination of the neighbourhood. We propose that India should go beyond South Asia and visualise itself as part of multiple neighbourhoods. The article explores the tools India has to imagine itself as a part of multiple […]
  • Jun 17, 2019
    India has the sovereign right to use its data for the welfare of its people and the idea of free trade doesn’t necessarily justify the idea of a free flow of data, commerce and industry ministry Piyush Goyal argued in his speech last week at the G-20 trade ministers’ meeting in Japan. The minister was channelling a […]
  • Jun 17, 2019
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    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit seemed to herald new thinking on Sino-Indian relations. But will it amount to anything? Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Jun 14, 2019
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    Despite India’s ban on genetically modified crops, hundreds of farmers in Akola are planting them anyway. Why are GMOs banned in the first place? Will India roll back the ban? Anirudh Kanisetti and Shambhavi Naik join Yazad Jal to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other […]
  • Jun 14, 2019
    The Syrian civil war is coming to a close, and it looks like Russia – er, Assad – has won. According to the Military Balance 2019, Since 2015, 500 senior Russian officers have cycled through Syria, and nearly 39,000 flight missions have been carried out. Russia’s army has secured combat experience in informationised conditions, and […]
  • Jun 14, 2019
    The Economist has an excellent take on the Trech War between the US and China. For one it highlights the not-so-apparent fragility of the semiconductor industry. As a complex network with nodes spread all across the world the supply chain works seamlessly at most times hiding the underlying absence of redundancy. William Shih of HBS has a beautiful analogy to describe […]
  • Jun 14, 2019
    The United Kingdom’s planned exit from the European Union, Brexit, keeps getting messier by the month. It led Theresa May to resign, just like David Cameron before her. It may end up making Boris Johnson the U.K.’s next prime minister, or be the cause of him facing judicial consequences. Brexit also led to the creation of […]
  • Jun 14, 2019
    The Big Story: Artificial intelligence and PLA In 2017, China announced its plans to become the world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2030. As US and China compete to innovate in this domain, the relative trajectories of their advances will have an impact on future military balance. Currently, US is the a world leader […]
  • Jun 13, 2019
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    The mass protests against Hong Kong’s new extradition law turned violent on Wednesday. As tensions boiled over, Hong Kong police used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, injuring over 70 people. Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai joined Shambhavi Naik on Wednesday to discuss the controversy surrounding the new law and the […]
  • Jun 13, 2019
    China’s military modernisation is advancing rapidly, requiring stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region to adapt with the changing realities. China’s Defence minister Wei Fenghe made a speech on June 2 at the Shangri-La Dialogue forum in Singapore. Shangri-La Dialogue is one of the biggest track-one diplomacy security fora of Asia. Mr. Fenghe’s speech was monitored closely […]
  • Jun 12, 2019
    From impeding track stars like Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand to laws restricting bathroom access and a proposal in the US for genetic determination of sex, the issue of gender identity remains mired in controversy. Can there be a sensible and humane resolution to this debate? Or does this debate represent an unwarranted imposition of […]
  • Jun 12, 2019
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    Shambhavi Naik, Pranay Kotasthane and Gayatri Ganpule join Yazad Jal to discuss the latest section of the Economist. Today’s podcast includes the economics behind plant activity, the legality of certain drugs, Mohammed Salah’s contribution to dispelling Islamophobia in the UK, and more. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or […]
  • Jun 12, 2019
    There is an acute staff shortage in India’s RAW with about 40 per cent of the posts at the level of joint secretaries, directors and deputy secretaries lying vacant. And then, it became worse nearly six months ago when more than 70 senior and mid-level RAW officials were marked for compulsory retirement by the Narendra Modi government. Of these, four were holding the joint […]
  • Jun 11, 2019
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    A recent paper by former Chief Economic Advisor of India, Arvind Subramanian made a shocking claim that India’s GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 was 4.5 per cent per year, substantially lower than the oft-quoted figure of 7 per cent. This finding serves as a reminder that not all’s well in the economic engine and […]
  • Jun 11, 2019
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    Deepening competition between the US and China over trade and technology is bringing forth a new set of economic and strategic challenges for India. Navigating these successfully requires New Delhi to mitigate and manage the threats, while leveraging the opportunities that arise. Doing so, however, requires the Indian government to undertake key reforms and adopt a […]
  • Jun 10, 2019
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    In this special episode, Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande talks about how maritime power has shaped our world, from ancient Greece to the 21st century Indo-Pacific. In conversation with Aditya Ramanathan and Anirudh Kanisetti. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Jun 8, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly newsletter offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover Xi’s visit to Russia, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the US’ new Indo-Pacific Strategy, India’s growing trade ties with China and much more. I. A New Era Partnership Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled […]
  • Jun 7, 2019
    Big Story: Do you believe in UFOs? Chinese social media was flooded on June 2, Sunday, with messages of people claiming to have spotted a UFO with a long white tail of smoke. However, the PLA Rocket Force on June 4, Tuesday, posted a photo of a missile on a mobile launcher on Weibo. The […]
  • Jun 7, 2019
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    With the recent wave of anti-abortion laws in the US, the right of a woman to bodily autonomy is being attacked. Shambhavi Naik is joined by Nidhi Gupta, Anirudh Kanisetti and Yazad Jal to discuss the effects of abortion laws. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other […]
  • Jun 7, 2019
    A fortnightly newsletter keeping an eye on science policy and news from around the world. DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 (Edition 1): The DNA Bill 2018 aimed to regulate laboratories using  DNA fingerprinting technology and creation of a DNA sequence databank to expedite justice in select judicial matters. Update: The Bill lapsed with […]
  • Jun 6, 2019
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    The US has a new Indo-Pacific strategy. What does it mean for the region? What’s China’s response it? And how does it impact India? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Yazad Jal to discuss this topic. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Jun 5, 2019
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    Shambhavi Naik and Gayatri Ganpule join Yazad Jal to explore the latest section of the Economist and discuss the nuances of its most intriguing articles. Listen in to hear about how intestinal bacteria can reduce the symptoms of autism, the extrajudicial role of Iraqi sheikhs, female genital mutilation in the United States, the latest developments […]
  • Jun 4, 2019
    While India has tactfully used the platform to diplomatically isolate Pakistan, it must also tap into BIMSTEC’s immense potential for development, connectivity and trade in the region. Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony last Thursday. This is an opportunity for India to leverage the grouping for better regional economic integration, rather […]
  • Jun 4, 2019
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    The Tiananmen Square massacre is still an extremely controversial topic in China 30 years on. What led to the mass protests at the time? How does the Chinese Government still censor it? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Yazad Jal to discuss the history of the event and the current ramifications. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Jun 3, 2019
    In June 2018, German police arrested a Tunisian man in Cologne for trying to build a biological weapon using the deadly toxin, ricin.1   In October 2018, researchers flagged a US agricultural program funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as a potential mask for a bioweapons project.2 At the same time, Russia also claimed that […]
  • Jun 3, 2019
    Download the doctrine here Yogakshema बलं शक्ति: | सुखं सिद्धि:| Strength is power. And well-being is the goal. (Arthashastra, 6:2-31,32) To create and defend a conducive environment for yogakshema (well-being, prosperity, and happiness) of all Indians. At this stage of India’s development, national security is primarily focused on protecting and promoting India’s economic development. a. As […]
  • Jun 3, 2019
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    The Takshashila Institution released a National Security Doctrine for India on 3rd June 2019. In this episode, Lt Gen Prakash Menon, Nitin Pai, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss what this doctrine encompasses. Listen in to find out: – Difference between a doctrine document and a strategy document – What should be the goal of an Indian […]
  • May 31, 2019
    Indian technology policy is entering into a decisive age with the coming of the new government. Regardless of who comes into power, BJP, Congress, or a coalition, their policies need to take enabling stances on artificial intelligence, big data, automation, 5G, digital taxation and so on. Draft policies for emerging technologies have already been put […]
  • May 31, 2019
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    Brands are becoming increasingly outspoken about their political values and so are consumers. Are we in an era of ethical consumerism? What does this mean for manufacturers and workers? Ananya Iyer and Anirudh Kanisetti join Yazad Jal to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast […]
  • May 31, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover Wang Qishan’s Pakistan visit; Xi and Modi prepare for Wuhan 2.0; Sin0-US frictions deepen; and much more… I. Wang Nishan-e-Pakistan Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan was in Pakistan for a three-day visit this week. CPEC and […]
  • May 30, 2019
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    In today’s Thoughtful Thursday episode, General Prakash Menon and Suyash Desai join Manoj Kewalramani to discuss China’s international political machinations and its military strategy through the lens of two new books, Julia Lovell’s Maoism: A Global History and M. Taylor Fravel’s Active Defense. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify […]
  • May 29, 2019
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    With BIMSTEC leaders attending the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, General Prakash Menon and Suyash Desai join Shambhavi Naik to talk about how the organisation could help rewire the geopolitics of India’s neighbourhood. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 28, 2019
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    In this week’s episode, Anupam Manur, Yazad Jal and Gayatri Ganpule discuss the booming job market in rich countries, disruption of the interlinkages in the tech industry and welfare-motivated sin tax on sugary drinks. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 28, 2019
    The mouthpiece for a country’s premier statesman is occasionally bound to be dumbfounded by the public’s queries. But that can’t be a reason not to have one in a modern democracy. Much of our national discourse revolves around politics and not policy. The issue of where and when the Ram Mandir will be built appears […]
  • May 27, 2019
    A multinational giant using all its might to crush four small farmers for an alleged patent infringement: this is how PepsiCo’s decision to sue a group of Gujarat farmers for Rs 1 crore each played out in the media early this month. The US-based snack and beverage maker was accused of coercion for taking the […]
  • May 27, 2019
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    What should be on the agenda for the new government as it sets about reforming defence? General Prakash Menon and Nitin Pai join Yazad Jal to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 24, 2019
    The Big Story: Xi’s Jiangxi Tour President Xi Jinping toured east China’s Jiangxi province this week. This was his first domestic tour since the escalation of trade war with the United States. Jiangxi is where China’s Red Army started its Long March in 1934. President Xi’s choice of destination, as per the South China Morning […]
  • May 24, 2019
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    Will Russia’s new internet regulations end the global internet as we know it? Does China have its own internet? Should states rule over the internet? Manoj Kewalramani and Rohan Seth join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 24, 2019
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    This article first appeared in The Wire Dark, bizarre, surreal: we are short of adjectives to accurately capture the current political situation in Afghanistan. On May 8, even as they were in talks with the US, the Taliban attacked the Kabul office of a US aid NGO, killing nine. On May 5, the Taliban mounted attacks on armed forces […]
  • May 24, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the Sino-US tussle over Huawei; Xi’s letter to Modi; Sri Lanka’s purchase of surveillance equipment and much more I. Trump’s Cards Over the weekend, report after report told us that a new tech Cold War is upon […]
  • May 24, 2019
    A fortnightly newsletter keeping an eye on science policy and news from around the world. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002:  The Biological Diversity Act was enacted to meet India’s international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Act’s has two main purposes:  to regulate access to India’s biodiversity and to ensure appropriate benefit sharing if the biodiversity […]
  • May 23, 2019
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    Nidhi Gupta, Pranay Kotasthane and Ananya Iyer join Shambhavi Naik to discuss the recent news coverage surrounding the cut-off and quota measures in Karnataka Pre-University colleges. Can quotas be replaced by other measures to achieve social equity? Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 22, 2019
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    Surgical strikes are back in the news. But what are these surgical strikes really? Do they help reduce terrorism? Are they being exploited for political purposes? General Prakash Menon discusses with Yazad Jal and Aditya Ramanathan. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 21, 2019
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    Is the US-China trade war entering its final phases? Huawei will not be able to purchase components from American suppliers – and will be excluded from future versions of Google’s Android OS. But this costs the US $11 billion in lost business. Will the costs finally be enough to bring both sides to the table? […]
  • May 21, 2019
    A response to The Print’s TalkPoint question for 20th May: With Lok Sabha elections over, how can India and Pakistan now repair fractured ties? Pakistan is not one geopolitical entity, but two. The first is a putative state; represented by civilian governments and a civilian de-facto head of state. The competing entity is a dynamic syndicate […]
  • May 20, 2019
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    Affirmative action aimed at ending discrimination has a long and complex history in India. A new chapter was added to this story on May 10 when the Supreme Court upheld a Karnataka law, saying quotas for promotion of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates in public employment was constitutional and did not require demonstrating ‘backwardness’ […]
  • May 20, 2019
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    Yazad Jal and Manoj Kewalramani join Nitin Pai discuss the nuances of the articles in the latest edition of The Economist (May 18th). Tune in for insights on the US-China new “cold war”, comedic happenings in politics, the intolerance of intolerance, sleep technology and more. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • May 17, 2019
    The Big Story: South Asia and PLA A China Daily editorial on May 13th called for joint action by South Asian countries to deal with rising terrorism threats in the region. The article comes at the back of a terrorist attack on a five star hotel, Zaver Pearl Continental near the port city of Gwadar, […]
  • May 17, 2019
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    Has politicisation affected the Indian military? Should our senior officers have a “cooling off” period before they’re allowed to join a political party? Gen. Prakash Menon joins Pranay Kotasthane and Yazad Jal to discuss these issues. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 17, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover Xi’s Asian Civilisations Dialogue speech; escalation in the Sino-US trade war and much more. I. Analysis of Xi’s CDAC Speech Late last month, Kiron Skinner, Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department, cast […]
  • May 16, 2019
    How have India and China tried to educate their military personnel? Manoj Kewalramani and Aditya Ramanathan join Yazad Jal to talk about two different studies on the subject. Check out the studies mentioned here: “Defense Education in Chinese Universities: Drilling Elite Youth” www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080…rnalCode=cjcc20 “Educating the Professional Military: Civil–Military Relations and Professional Military Education in India” […]
  • May 15, 2019
    Guest post by Ananya Iyer Quickly having transformed from a sleepy town idealized for retirement to a fast-paced megalopolis, Bangalore faces the issues of a city that grew up too fast. Issues related to major planning discrepancies are commonplace, and the rapid pace of development yields a resistance to correct the prevailing concerns. According to […]
  • May 15, 2019
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    Yazad Jal and Anupam Manur join Nitin Pai to dive into the latest edition of The Economist and discuss the nuances of the articles that they found the most intriguing. Tune in for insights on US-China trade war, the veracity of Indian GDP numbers, the decline of racial bias in the United States and more. […]
  • May 14, 2019
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    With Uber and Ola having gamechanging effects on urban mobility, how can urban planning authorities account for the sharp hike in road congestion with a view to make transport as efficient as possible? Pranay Kotasthane and Anupam Manur join Shambhavi Naik to discuss the various aspects of the same. Subscribe and listen to the podcast […]
  • May 14, 2019
    This article appeared in Business Standard Five years ago, Wang Jing, a tycoon with close links to the Chinese government and Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president announced a $50 billion plan to cut a 278-km long canal in the Central American isthmus. Despite the scale of environmental damage it would cause, Ortega’s government quickly cleared the […]
  • May 13, 2019
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    Can relocating state capitals create jobs and give the economy a boost? Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane join Yazad Jal to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 12, 2019
    When I first saw the invitation for Uber’s discussion on women’s safety, I was prepared for an event dealing with the incorporation of the gender aspect in Uber rides. However, as the event’s conversation progressed, the multifaceted and nuanced nature of this issue unfolded and made me realise how much more there is to it. […]
  • May 10, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the unraveling of the Sino-US trade talks, shifts in Indian thinking on BRI, Xi’s new vision for the country’s police and much more. Inside China A quick look at the key stories that dominated the […]
  • May 10, 2019
    PPFVR Act, 2001:  The Protection Of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act came into effect in 2001. It has been in recent news as under the aegis of the this Act, PepsiCo filed a case against potato farmers in Gujarat for allegedly infringing their patent for its FC 5 potato. While PepsiCo subsequently has […]
  • May 10, 2019
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    How does Che Guevara’s face end up on mass-manufactured t-shirts? How did superheroes go from comic books to blockbuster film franchises? How do counterculture movements end up as part of the mainstream? Asawari Ghatage, Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti geek out with Shambhavi Naik. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts […]
  • May 10, 2019
    The Big Story of the week Decoding China’s Military Power  The Department of Defense of the United States submitted an annual report to the Congress on the ‘Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China 2019.’ This is an annual exercise, which has started 18 years ago since 2001. Over the years, the China […]
  • May 9, 2019
    Guest post by Ananya Iyer There are a few industries that conspicuously follow the counterintuitive path of experiencing growth during an economic recession- discount retailers, casinos, repair, handymen. Among these is an unlikely contender- the cosmetics industry. In times of economic downturn, there has been a consistent observation in the rise in sales of the […]
  • May 9, 2019
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    Does the notion of a “clash of civilisations” really explain the competition between major powers today? Shambhavi Naik talks to Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 8, 2019
    Pakistan’s Nasr rocket was supposed to “pour cold water” over the Indian Army’s Cold Start doctrine. But Aditya Ramanathan and Kunaal Kini drop a truth bomb over Pakistan’s overheated claims. Check out their article here: bit.ly/2H8RwDD Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • May 7, 2019
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    The Supreme Court’s in-house probe panel has given a clean chit to CJI Ranjan Gogoi after allegations of sexual harassment against him. But the probe ignored the well-established Vishakha guidelines for dealing with such allegations. Surya Prakash BS joins Yazad Jal and Suyash Desai to discuss the implications for the credibility of India’s judiciary. Subscribe […]
  • May 6, 2019
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    Why did China finally allow Masood Azhar to be sanctioned by the UN? What do these sanctions actually achieve? What are China’s motivations behind doing this now? And how will it affect the India-China dynamic? Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai join Yazad Jal to discuss these issues and more. Subscribe and listen to the podcast […]
  • May 4, 2019
    This week I’d like to talk about Russia and its favourite neighbour, Ukraine. To say that the two have a shared history is an understatement. Over the last thousand years, states based in the areas covered by the modern states of the Russian Federation and Ukraine have been intertwined in a spectacular odyssey of war, […]
  • May 3, 2019
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    Why did pre-modern Indian states patronise poetry? How did poets balance their commitments to kings with their ideas of social justice? Are there lessons that modern India can learn from our historical attitude towards the arts? Author and ancient literature expert Samhita Arni joins Anirudh Kanisetti and Yazad Jal to search for answers. Subscribe and […]
  • May 3, 2019
    The Big Story: The 70th PLA Naval Anniversary The People’s Republic of China, in the last week, celebrated the 70th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy. The PLA Navy was formed on April 23rd, 1949 as a leading organ of the navy under East China Military Area Command. Seven decades after founding, PLAN has developed among the largest […]
  • May 3, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover all the details from the second Belt and Road Forum; the listing of Masood Azhar by the UNSC Sanctions Committee 1267; updates on the Sino-US trade war; a new report on surveillance in Xinjiang; the 100th […]
  • May 3, 2019
    By Shambhavi Naik Download the Discussion Document in PDF Gene editing, synthetic biology, and improved delivery systems have reinvigorated the attention to biological weapons. Furthermore, the Biological Weapons Convention has repeatedly failed to agree to a verification mechanism, giving rise to suspicions that state actors may still be experimenting with biological weapons. Further, non-state actors […]
  • May 2, 2019
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    The Marvel Cinematic Universe offers rich and often surprising insights into the most pressing matters of ethics, policy, international politics. Manoj Kewalramani, Shibani Mehta, Ajay Patri, and Aditya Ramanathan delve into some of their favourite moments in the MCU saga. Warning: This podcast contains major spoilers right up to Avengers: Infinity War. Subscribe and listen […]
  • May 1, 2019
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    All is not well with India’s external intelligence agency. In this fascinating episode, Anand Arni, Pranay Kotasthane, and Shibani Mehta talk about how India’s spies were recruited in the past, what’s wrong with the way they’re recruited today, and how India can hire better intelligence officers in the future. You can check out Shibani’s column […]
  • Apr 30, 2019
    Over the Horizon: Time, Uncertainty, and the Rise of Great Powers David M. Edelstein Cornell University Press (2017) In 2001 political scientist John Mearsheimer unleashed a scholarly fusillade on the optimistic complacency that characterized American strategic thinking in the years after the Cold War. Mearsheimer’s tome, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics¸ warned that while […]
  • Apr 30, 2019
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    How do prediction markets work? Do they offer advantages over traditional methods? And why did they go wrong in predicting Trump’s election or Brexit? Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane talk to Yazad Jal. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Apr 30, 2019
    By Pranay Kotasthane and Hemant Chandak EVM का मुद्दा फिर से गरमाया हुआ है | भारत के हर बड़े राजनीतिक दल ने चुनावी नुकसान के लिए ईवीएम को दोषी ठहराया है | हम लिखते है कि EVM स्वतंत्र, निष्पक्ष चुनाव करवाने के लिए ज़रूरी है | अब समय आ गया है कि हम ईवीएम को कमज़ोर […]
  • Apr 29, 2019
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    China’s navy marked its 70th anniversary with a four-day-long celebration last week. The festivities included a parade, which showcased the Liaoning aircraft carrier and the navy’s newest destroyer, the Nanchang. In this episode of All Things Policy, Shambhavi Naik talks to Manoj Kewalramani and Suyash Desai on the rapid modernisation of the PLA-Navy and its […]
  • Apr 26, 2019
    Nanopharmaceuticals to the Rescue:  The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India in collaboration with Indian Society of Nanomedicine have released draft guidelines for evaluation of nanopharmaceuticals in India. The formation of the guidelines has involved members from AIIMS, CDSCO, THSTI, CDRI, DBT, DST, ICMR and many other organisations.  These guidelines provide the first set of rules intended […]
  • Apr 26, 2019
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    A revolutionary new gene therapy hijacks the human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus to cure inherited immune disorders such as SCID – also known as Bubble Boy Disease. Is this the start of a bold new age in healthcare? Shambhavi Naik and Yazad Jal join Anirudh Kanisetti to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes […]
  • Apr 26, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we focus on the second Belt and Road Forum; the Chinese Navy’s new destroyer; the Party’s criteria for assessing cadre; the Huawei leak that’s shaken the British government and much more… I. BRI Forum This week Beijing […]
  • Apr 25, 2019
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    The second summit of the Belt and Road Initiative began on 25th April 2019. Will this summit, attended by more than 37 heads of the countries and several other delegations, bring clarity from China on issues like Transparency and economic sustainability of the BRI? Manoj and Suyash join Shambhavi to discuss the BRI initiative, its […]
  • Apr 24, 2019
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    Is the attack in Sri Lanka a product of third-party terrorism? Can a local terror outfit carry out an orchestrated attack of this scale without outside help? What is the nature of the allegiance of the local terror group to IS? More attacks of this nature should be expected as networked terrorists clash with hierarchical […]
  • Apr 24, 2019
    There is no doubt that inadequacies exist within India’s intelligence community, especially in the RAW. Instead of letting them fester and risk national security, the focus should be on reforms that focus on the people that constitute the institution. Read more
  • Apr 23, 2019
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    Should India ban TikTok? Does the ban violate the principle of freedom of expression, or tackle the problem of illegal and dangerous content? Does it help achieve broader geopolitical objectives? Yes and no, say Nitin Pai and Manoj Kewalramani in conversation with Shambhavi Naik. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts […]
  • Apr 23, 2019
    Welcome back to the Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. This week we discuss India’s demographic dividend, election season and the gig economy. Job creation news Lets start with the good news. MediaTek, a Taiwanese chipset making company is looking to hire 800 […]
  • Apr 22, 2019
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    India’s tourism industry is not in the best of shapes – Times Square in New York alone gets more than the entire country. Some places get way too much traffic and strain their infrastructure to breaking point. Others get no tourism traffic, and whatever infrastructure they have turns into a white elephant. How do we […]
  • Apr 19, 2019
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    In Israel last week, a team of scientists created the first functioning 3D-printed artificial heart made of biological materials. This is potentially a huge leap forward for synthetic biology – and perhaps even a step towards the ever-elusive quest for human immortality. But what is synthetic biology in the first place? What are the implications […]
  • Apr 18, 2019
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    We at the Takshashila Institution change our minds when presented with better arguments. In today’s episode Pranay Kotasthane and Aditya Ramanathan talk to host Shambhavi Naik about papers and books that made them reconsider old assumptions. In a freewheeling discussion, they look at whether reducing poverty might increase the risk of terrorism, why sponsoring nuclear […]
  • Apr 17, 2019
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    Why do migrants return home? What makes people make the arduous shift back after settling in a new place? Three migrants who returned home to India: Nidhi Gupta, Yazad Jal and Shambhavi Naik discuss these issues in light of Oded Stark’s article “Behavior in reverse: reasons for return migration.” Listen in for both personal and […]
  • Apr 16, 2019
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    Last week’s Arctic conference saw the unveiling of an ambitious Russian plan to expand its military presence in the region, including a larger fleet of nuclear icebreakers. Why are countries expressing so much interest in the Arctic and what does it mean for the future of geopolitics there? Aditya Ramanathan and Anirudh Kanisetti join Shambhavi […]
  • Apr 16, 2019
    If you are reading this, chances are that you get most of your political information online, on television or on your smartphone. Many myths are floating around these media, and given the echo-chambers and the tribal battlefields that we inhabit, some of the myths are left so unchallenged that they are accepted as truths. Let […]
  • Apr 16, 2019
    Immediately after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the rules for deputation to the RAW also came under the scanner. While the rules continue to be debated, it is clear that the benefits of separating the civil services from external intelligence outnumber the benefits brought by an amalgamation of the two. There are better-suited solutions that should not […]
  • Apr 15, 2019
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    In the first episode of our relaunched podcast, All Things Policy, Lt Gen Prakash Menon and Pranay Kotasthane join host Yazad Jal to discuss how India’s leading political parties deal with national security issues. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Apr 15, 2019
    There is a company in Gujarat that is pioneering election tourism in India. It currently offers foreign tourists 15 packages, with names as delightful as “Hustings in Himachal”, “Republic of Rajasthan”, “Grassroot Democracy of Kerala” and so on. The couple of thousand tourists who have signed up to witness political rallies and follow campaign trails […]
  • Apr 13, 2019
    Unlike those of other countries, India’s machines are offline, inaccessible via the internet. In India, what started out as genuine concerns have transformed into a thinly veiled excuse each time parties lose elections — no matter that the Election Commission of India (ECI), recognised across major democracies for its independence, has taken steps to address […]
  • Apr 13, 2019
    Last June, German police arrested a man planning a terror attack by releasing large quantities of the biological toxin ricin, said to be 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. The raids on a block of flats in Cologne blew the lid off our worst fears: non-state actors laying their hands on bioweapons. Technology has always […]
  • Apr 12, 2019
    Moratoria in Science: Banning areas of research is very counterintuitive to the very premise of fundamental research. Yet research interests can easily transgress the moral compass of society. An unforgettable example of such experimentation is the genetic studies performed by the Nazi physician Josef Mengele. Such experimentation clearly has no space in modern science. But […]
  • Apr 12, 2019
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    Shambhavi Naik, Yazad Jal and Anirudh Kanisetti discuss the contentious issue of germline gene editing. Eminent scientists have called for a five year moratorium on clinical applications of germline (concerning reproductive cells) gene editing. Such a move will reduce funding and transnational research in congenital diseases. In this episode, they discuss how proposing stringent safety […]
  • Apr 11, 2019
    If Marcus Tullius Cicero had been around in 2019, he’d have said that the sinews of war are infinite crude oil. So both Iran and Venezuela are major oil producers, and Venezuela has recoverable reserves about twice the size of Saudi Arabia’s. What has Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of OPEC been doing the whole of this […]
  • Apr 11, 2019
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    The recent EU-China summit has resulted in unprecedented concessions from China that could have long-lasting implications for the global economy. What are they? Is this a watershed in relations between the PRC and the West? Manoj Kewalramani joins Yazad Jal and Anupam Manur to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google […]
  • Apr 11, 2019
    Far from the spotlight (or at least the Indian spotlight), there is a cold war play happening between the Russia and the United States. The latest battleground is Venezuela where the US and Russia are currently engaged in a war of words over Russian military presence in Venezuela.
  • Apr 10, 2019
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    Calls to regulate big technology firms are increasingly entering political discourse. The latest spark to the debate is US Senator Warren’s proposal to break apart Google, Facebook and Apple. Are these ideas on the right track and are there better ways to increase consumer welfare? No and yes, explains Anupam Manur in conversation with Anirudh […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
    An interesting article in Science argues that deliberative mechanisms can resolve the present crisis in democracy. Although the solution by itself is not novel the article takes into account the latest work in cognitive psychology and democratic skepticism. Achen and Bartels in Democracy for Realists claim that people vote mainly guided by group identity, oblivious to reasons […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
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    What do a children’s story, Indore’s cleanliness, and Mumbai local trains have in common? Social norms! Nidhi Gupta joins Shambhavi Naik, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Aditya Ramanathan to explain how they work, based on the pioneering work of Cristina Bicchieri. Read more at www.unicef.org/protection/files/…_Social_Norms.pdf Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
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    By Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Kunaal Kini Download the study in PDF A canal along the Isthmus of Kra could alter the strategic calculus for states across Southeast Asia, with China expected to benefit the most. In light of recent discussions around building the canal with the help of Chinese investors, this study examines […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
    Further, breaking up these companies would significantly reduce the value consumers get due to the high interconnectedness of the products. A lot of the value that Google has seen in the Maps platform, for instance, comes from all the data that they have from Search. Customers also receive a lot of value from other Google […]
  • Apr 8, 2019
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    Should lethal autonomous weapons have the discretion to take human life? With governments already debating the issue at the UN, Ganesh Chakravarthi talks to Manoj Kewalramani, Shibani Mehta, and Aditya Ramanathan about the future of killer robots. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Apr 6, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week Xi seeks to restore confidence in socialism; India-China mark anniversary of diplomatic ties; work starts to build Gwadar’s new airport, EU prepares for summit meeting with China and much more. I. Inside Track Xi’s Insecurities: A couple of […]
  • Apr 5, 2019
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    Having proven its ability to knock out satellites, India should pledge a no first use policy for A-SAT missiles, since these weapons can create dangerous debris fields in space. Such a pledge will not stop India from pursuing or using “non-kinetic” means of disabling enemy satellites. Lt General Prakash Menon talks to Manoj Kewalramani and […]
  • Apr 4, 2019
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    The Indian government recently stated that PhDs would only be offered on subjects of “national interest” (though it later backtracked). Are there better ways to nurture research in India and address some of the structural problems of the academic environment? Nidhi Gupta and Shambhavi Naik join Yazad Jal to discuss. Subscribe and listen to the […]
  • Apr 3, 2019
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    What if China were to cut a canal through the Isthmus of Kra in Thailand? Such a project could transform the geopolitics of Southeast Asia. What are India’s stakes in the matter and what does it need to do about it? Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti join Aditya Ramanathan to discuss. Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Apr 3, 2019
    Becoming a responsible space power should be India’s natural inclination. It should focus on building only relevant deterrence capability and follow a ‘No First Use’ doctrine as well work towards its global adoption. Read more
  • Apr 2, 2019
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    Facebook just announced that it has taken down hundreds of pages in India and Pakistan for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. What does this mean? Why is Facebook cracking down on pages, and what does this say about the future of social media governance? Anirudh Kanisetti and Pranay Kotasthane join Shambhavi Naik to discuss. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Apr 2, 2019
    What is remarkable about the 2019 Lok Sabha election is that the very nature of the contest is under contest. On the face of it, the BJP is asking people to give Narendra Modi a second term as prime minister, while the Congress and other opposition parties are campaigning to topple him. Yet below the […]
  • Apr 1, 2019
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    Now that India has tested an anti-satellite missile, it is part of a club of just four states that have the ability to target assets in space. What does this mean for the future of geopolitics? And how does it continue the legacy of Cold War space marathons? Aditya Ramanathan and Pavan Srinath join Anirudh […]
  • Mar 29, 2019
    Clinical Trials Rules in India:  India accounts for nearly 16.0% of the population worldwide and nearly 20% of the disease burden across the globe, yet less than around 1.4% of total global clinical trials are conducted in the country. Clinical trials are important: not only for testing if new drugs work on Indian population, but also as […]
  • Mar 29, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week the Chinese government puts out a White Paper on Tibet; Beijing reacts to India’s ASAT test; Xi’s Europe visit and much more. I. Frontier Management Tibet White Paper: This week the State Council Information Office issued a white paper […]
  • Mar 29, 2019
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    Science and technology ought to be a priority strategic investment for India’s future. Shambhavi Naik and Pavan Srinath tell Aditya Ramanathan why the government needs to increase funding, articulate a positive vision for Indian science and technology, and give scientists a greater say in funding decisions. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox […]
  • Mar 28, 2019
    As everyone who has read a history book once is fond of repeating, history repeats itself. This has been a week of Cold War nostalgia in more ways than one. As I noted last week, the US dispatched B-52 bombers to Europe for “theatre familiarisation operations”. A few days later, Russia’s Ministry of Defence released […]
  • Mar 28, 2019
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    What kind of reforms would be required to make Indian manufacturing globally competitive? In this episode of our Dream Manifesto series, Anupam Manur discusses his wish list with Yazad Jal. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 27, 2019
    In this episode of our series on dream manifestos, Surya Prakash and Ajay Patri discuss the reforms that Union and State governments can introduce to make the functioning of the Indian judiciary more robust. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on: iTunes Castbox Google Podcasts Spotify or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 26, 2019
    The recent public intervention by a group of economists over data published under the Narendra Modi government and a rejoinder to them by a bigger group of chartered accountants makes it appear as if public policy is a numbers game. And as if economics and accountancy are two rival ideologies contending for political power. Both these impressions are wrong, dangerous […]
  • Mar 26, 2019
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    In this episode of our elections-inspired special series, Pranay Kotasthane joins Manoj Kewalramani and Aditya Ramanathan to discuss how a dream manifesto could change India’s foreign relations and bring the country a step closer to the ideal of Yogakshema – the peace and prosperity of its citizens. Read Pranay’s column on how India can increase […]
  • Mar 22, 2019
    For the third year in a row, Russia’s position on the World Happiness Index has slipped – it now ranks just beneath Pakistan. Part of the reason its high rank (*sarcasm*) must be the exuberant joy of President Putin, who earlier this week signed into law a bill that empowers the State to demand that […]
  • Mar 22, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week we cover the CPC’s new rules for cadres; Xi’s visit to Italy; Indian envoy Vikram Misri’s interview to Global Times; the China-Pakistan strategic dialogue and much more. I. Politics & Ideology Xi Jinping kicked off this week […]
  • Mar 20, 2019
    By Pranav V Title: A Nuclear Winter’s Tale – Science and Politics in the 1980s Author: Lawrence Badash Publisher: MIT Press (2009) The contention between scientific conjecturing, and its radical impact on a politically pre-moulded public opinion, stretches to the scientific revolution itself. The near instinctual opposition fashioned by the State against politically destabilising postulations, is […]
  • Mar 20, 2019
    Many newspaper editorials, activists and citizens are elated that the Modi government has finally appointed the first chairperson of the Lokpal. Since seven more members remain to be selected and appointed, and the entire organisation has to be staffed according to government rules, it’ll be some time before the institution begins to function. We are […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    To be effective, terrorism must have an audience. The New Zealand attackers simply used a GoPro and live streaming on Facebook while they carried out the massacre. With social media and the mobile internet, terrorists can not only reach a global audience, they can get their message across unfiltered. These, unfortunately, are near-perfect conditions for terrorism. […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    ​Madhav Chandavarkar, Ajay Patri, and Divij Joshi Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to […]
  • Mar 18, 2019
    With Future Retail signed up as its master franchise, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain will open its iconic shops in many Indian cities this year. Unlike in almost all the 18 other countries where it is “always close, but never closed”, it won’t be able to operate round the clock in India. As Kishore Biyani […]
  • Mar 17, 2019
    By Dr Kajari Kamal, Faculty, Strategic Studies Programme The news of Indian Air force striking Balakot in a ‘non-military pre-emptive’ action came when former Indian diplomats and members of the strategic and academic community were deliberating on ‘India’s Strategic Culture and Policy Options at a national seminar. The rather unexpected scale of response elicited guarded […]
  • Mar 17, 2019
    The decision by the Trump administration to withdraw preferential treatment to Indian goods should serve as a strong warning to the New Delhi that prioritising narrow domestic politics over good economic policy can have dangerous consequences. Trump’s decision to levy import duties on erstwhile exempted goods did not, as commonly understood, come out of the […]
  • Mar 15, 2019
    Price Capping:  Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority capped the prices of 42 unscheduled cancer drugs through a trade margin rationalisation. In a similar move, prices of medical devices – knee caps and stents – were also capped in 2018, despite US pressure to rescind the move. Price capping is obviously welcome news to patients. However, it can also lead […]
  • Mar 14, 2019
    It seems strangely appropriate that the largest series of protests that Russia has seen in years is due to the state attempting to do new things with the Internet. Just last week, General Gerasimov, Russia’s Chief of General Staff who is widely credited with expanding the role played by cyberwarfare and misinformation in its military […]
  • Mar 13, 2019
    There are two interesting strands of thought that one can derive from the recent frictions between the US and China. First, geopolitical competition is closely linked to technological advancement. Second, values are a key component of geopolitical competition. The former refers to the accumulation of power; the latter is about the framework within which power […]
  • Mar 12, 2019
    The Election Commission has announced that it will closely monitor the social media campaigns of parties and candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has enlisted the cooperation of Google, Facebook and Twitter to uphold “the integrity of the political campaigns on their platforms”. As much as the Election Commission must be commended for factoring in social media activities in its overall governance […]
  • Mar 11, 2019
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    A new book by a Dutch journalist claims Taliban leader Mullah Omar remained in hiding near a US base in Zabul, Afghanistan, until his death in 2013. The release of the book, and an accompanying English-language report contradict earlier evidence that Mullah Omar was in Pakistan. Anand Arni and Nitin Pai tell Aditya Ramanathan why […]
  • Mar 9, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, we cover Li Keqiang’s big speech and all the Two Sessions action; developments related to Huawei, China’s ‘mediation’ efforts and trade balance with India and much more. I. Two Sessions China’s annual political sessions, i.e., the meetings […]
  • Mar 8, 2019
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    India’s social infrastructure is stuck in the industrial age. Creating social services for the twenty-first century will require looking beyond the existing models of developed countries. Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane discuss. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google Podcasts or any other podcast app.
  • Mar 7, 2019
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    Thousands of delegates from all over China have gathered in Beijing for the annual meetings of the country’s two main political bodies, the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress. Manoj Kewalramani tells Anupam Manur and Aditya Ramanathan why the meetings are both a serious indicator of China’s policies and a spot of […]
  • Mar 7, 2019
    It’s been an eventful week for Russia on the global stage. Over the last few months. Turkey’s ham-fisted attempts to intervene in northern Syria seemed to only harden the geopolitical battle-lines, with word of the US withdrawal leading to a series of bombastic claims and counter-claims. Ankara is overtly anti-Assad and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia […]
  • Mar 6, 2019
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    US President Donald Trump has called India a “tariff king” and threatened to withdraw India’s preferential trade status under the GSP. What is the GSP? What does India stand to lose? More importantly, what is in India’s national interest? High tariffs or low tariffs? And how should India react to the US provocation? Pranay Kotasthane […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
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    Dealing with alcoholism is a very complex public policy problem. Many Indian states have inaugurated a policy of outright prohibition – but this move can have risky unintended consequences. With a series of tragedies resulting from the consumption of spurious liquor in the news, Nitin Pai and Anupam Manur unpack the issue. Subscribe and listen […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    There is a delicious irony in the Indian external affairs minister being the guest of honour at the OIC foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi last week. The hosts did not rescind their invitation to India despite Pakistan’s strident protest, and accepted a Pakistani ministerial boycott as a price worth paying for the benefit of engaging India. Ironic, because it is almost […]
  • Mar 5, 2019
    As the fog of war between India and Pakistan clears, here’s an assessment of the strategic consequences that go beyond immediate tactical gains and losses. Read the full article on ThePrint.
  • Mar 4, 2019
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently argued that there was no good method available for estimating job creation. But with the discontinuation of the NSSO’s five-year surveys and lack of Labour Bureau data, could other sources, such as government schemes, fill the data gap? Yazad Jal and Devika Kher discuss the reasons for their scepticism. Subscribe […]
  • Mar 4, 2019
    Pranay’s reply to this question for ThePrint’s #TalkPoint of 4th March 2019 The opposition parties are justified in seeking evidence to the extent that the government’s spokespersons insist with their boastful claim that 250-300 terrorists were killed in the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force. In the broader scheme of things, the strategic […]
  • Mar 2, 2019
    Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom. This week, we cover China’s role amid Indo-Pak tensions; the lead-up to the annual Two Sessions; Huawei’s big media campaign and a lot more. 1. Beijing’s Balancing Act The tensions between India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have […]
  • Mar 1, 2019
    A while back, I wrote about Aleksandr Dugin’s Last War of the World Island: The Geopolitics of  Contemporary Russia. Dugin’s worldview, I pointed out, was overly simplistic, relying on arbitrary definitions of “Civilisations of Land/Sea”. Dugin argues that as the paragon of “Civilisation of Land”, Russia is the only possible counter-balance to the US as a global […]
  • Mar 1, 2019
    Policy Focus Open Access Policy and Plan S: In a tweet, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Professor K Vijayraghavan announced India’s intention to join cOAlition S (Plan S), a Europe-led initiative that encourages researchers to publish their findings in open-access journals. China has also announced its intention to join Plan S; but from […]
  • Feb 27, 2019
    The optimum Indian military response to the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s attack on Indian security forces at Pulwama would be one that falls between two thresholds: high enough to impose costs on the Pakistani military-jihadi complex, but not so high that it would escalate to a higher level of conflict. The Narendra Modi government’s use of air power […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
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    Is a limited war between Pakistan and India possible? What political objectives can such a war achieve? With India striking alleged terrorist targets in Pakistani territory, General Prakash Menon and Pranay Kotasthane discuss this concept of limited war. For more, check out our discussion document “The India—Pakistan conflict escalation framework”. (takshashila.org.in/wp-content/uplo…-PK-12-2016.pdf) Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    It occurs so frequently in India that we have given it a name: When lots of people die after consuming contaminated liquor, we call it a “hooch tragedy”. Over 150 people died in the latest one over the weekend, in Assam’s tea-growing areas around Golaghat and Jorhat. Hundreds more have been hospitalised. Amid street protests, the state government has begun […]
  • Feb 26, 2019
    Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey was required to appear for a Parliamentary hearing earlier this month after being accused by social media users of bias against particular political views. He did not. As the conversation around social media, fake news and online censorship gets intense in the run-up to the general elections, Anirudh Kanisetti asks whether […]
  • Feb 25, 2019
    Last week, Ameya Naik and I were explaining government decision-making to our GCP class using Putnam’s two-level games framework. We used the 1991 Indian economic reforms to illustrate how external pressure at the Level 1 (between the Indian government and World Bank negotiators) was deployed as a mechanism to water down opposition in Level II […]
  • Feb 22, 2019
    This is the eleventh edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at recruitment in the armed forces, women and jobs in STEM, artificial intelligence and the woes of youth. Read more
  • Feb 22, 2019
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    It’s been more than four years since the AP Reorganisation Act came into effect. Yet the acrimony between the union and the new look Andhra Pradesh state doesn’t seem to be going away. The AP CM was in Delhi last week to register his protest over the state not being granted ‘special category’ status. So […]
  • Feb 21, 2019
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    The Indian government may be thinking of regulating the activities of major social media firms such as WhatsApp. Facebook and Google have come out with new policies to control political advertising and combat misinformation on their platforms. As India’s general election comes closer, Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, Yazad Jal and Aditya Ramanathan discuss these developments. […]
  • Feb 21, 2019
    I read the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah’s first Reith Lecture on the subject of Creed recently. And what he has to say about religious beliefs makes for an interesting read, particularly in the context of the Supreme Court judgment upholding the right of women to enter the Sabarimala temple. Appiah opines that religious beliefs are […]
  • Feb 20, 2019
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    The Jaish-e-Mohammad is a terrorist outfit that has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. What is it, and what are its links to the Pakistani Military-Jihadi Complex? Pranay Kotasthane and Anand Arni discuss the organisation in this episode. For more on the Military-Jihadi complex, check out our conversation here: Takshashila-institution – The-pakistani-military-jihadi-complex Subscribe and listen to […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    More than fear and insecurity, it is outrage that is driving public opinion after the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. There is widespread expectation that the Narendra Modi government retaliate using military force and further, conversationally at least, many people want to go to war with Pakistan To the extent that such a state […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    In May 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping placed an ambitious proposition before the leaders of the country’s scientific community. He called on them to “aim for the frontiers of science and technology” and emerge as the “vanguards in innovation in the new era.” The overarching objective, he said, was for China to become a “major […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
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    India has recently announced its intent to join Plan S, by which all public-funded research in India would have to be published in open access compliant journals. This move will help scientists, students and teachers across India to access research articles and will put all scientific knowledge in the public domain. In this episode, we […]
  • Feb 19, 2019
    When dealing with a nuclear-armed country, even the political leadership’s freedom to direct use of maximum force is curtailed. Treading discreetly, staying vigilant and having an unambiguous diplomatic goal may be better options to extract meaningful revenge. A ‘free hand’ is a hazardous approach that promises no happy endings. Read more
  • Feb 18, 2019
    The Compound Eye Feb 15, 2019 Policy in Focus: Interim Budget, 2019: Instead of a policy, this fortnight we highlight announcements from the Interim Budget that embrace the development of science and technology in India: There has been marginal hike in budget allocations to Department of Science and Technology – DST has been allocated INR 5321 crore […]
  • Feb 18, 2019
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    In this episode, Nitin Pai, Pranay Kotasthane, and Yazad Jal discuss the meta-structure of political Pakistan. The central argument is that Pakistan is not one geopolitical entity, but two: the putative state (represented currently by a civilian government), and the military—jihadi complex (MJC) that has captured the commanding heights of power. In this episode, they […]
  • Feb 17, 2019
    In terms of reliability of official data, India is getting dangerously close to Chinese territory. The year that witnessed demonetization, when 86% of the cash in circulation was declared as illegal tender overnight and which was perhaps one of the greatest assaults on private property in recent history, is now being touted as the year […]
  • Feb 15, 2019
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    On 14th February 2019, a CRPF convoy was attacked by a vehicle-bound suicide bomber near Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. In this episode Nitin Pai, Manoj Kewalramani, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss Pakistan’s objectives behind such attacks and India’s responses to sub-conventional warfare. For more on this […]
  • Feb 14, 2019
    Ambassador Shivshankar Menon’s recent keynote address at JNU pulled few punches in describing what ails the study of international relations in India. My colleague Pranay Kotasthane has already weighed in on the issue, arguing against an over-reliance on history at the expense of other disciplines. Some of us also wondered if it was possible to […]
  • Feb 14, 2019
    This is the tenth edition of The Jobscape, our weekly round-up of news and opinion on the state of employment and job creation in India. In this edition, we look at the official job numbers from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), the interim budget, universal basic income and lessons from China. Read more
  • Feb 14, 2019
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    Social Credit System is the umbrella term to describe the multiple reputation systems being experimented by Chinese companies and local governments. It is being promoted as a means to improve trustworthiness in a digital economy. So in this episode, Manoj Kewalramani, Nitin Pai, Manasa Venkatraman, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss this system and the possible alternatives […]
  • Feb 13, 2019
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    ASER (Annual Status of Education Report) is an annual survey that provides annual estimates of children’s schooling status and basic learning levels for each state and rural district in India. (ASER Centre). In this episode, Nidhi Gupta, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane discuss key insights from the latest edition of the ASER survey which was […]
  • Feb 12, 2019
    Amb Shivshankar Menon’s keynote speech on what’s wrong with IR studies in India has sparked a healthy discussion online. His main arguments: Indian students are well versed with abstract IR theory but they find it difficult to apply these concepts to the real world. Two, the world which created IR theory as we know it now is […]
  • Feb 12, 2019
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    Angel tax, levied on angel investment in startups, has been in news recently for tax notices slapped on a large number of startups. (Economic Times, 9 Feb 2019). In this episode, Yazad Jal and Anupam Manur analyse the impact of this increased tax scrutiny on the Indian economy. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google […]
  • Feb 11, 2019
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    Acclaimed actor and director Amol Palekar was repeatedly interrupted during his speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Mumbai when he criticised the Ministry of Culture for reportedly scrapping the advisory committees at the gallery’s Mumbai and Bengaluru centres. (NDTV, Feb 10, 2019). This incident sparked a conversation in our office over […]
  • Feb 11, 2019
    दिसंबर 2018 के चुनाव में जीत कर शेख हसीना एक बार फिर बांग्लादेश की प्रधानमंत्री बन गई हैं। यह भारत-बांग्लादेश संबंधों के लिए अच्छी खबर है यह तो हम सब जानते हैं। लेकिन कम ही लोग यह जानते हैं कि बांग्लादेश की आर्थिक प्रगति के कारनामे ने इस रिश्ते को एक नया आयाम दिया है। […]
  • Feb 10, 2019
    The promise of delivering speedy justice has moved members of the Lok Sabha to okay the , 2018, early last month. In response to concerns about privacy violations, the Bill proposes constituting a regulatory board, which will have the difficult task of finding ways to secure informed consent from people who may not understand what […]
  • Feb 9, 2019
    The raison d’être for intelligence analysis is being able to predict near-future events with reasonable accuracy. Based on the little that I have read, there is no mechanism that seeks to improve Indian intelligence analysts’ accuracy over time. This leads to what Philip Tetlock calls ‘outcome-irrelevant learning’.  This is a situation where in no matter what happens […]
  • Feb 8, 2019
    “Trade wars are good, and easy to win!”, Mr Trump had exclaimed. About a year after such an exclamation, there are hundreds of farmers, Trump’s traditional voter base, gathered around in Washington, to pressure policy makers and the Trump administration to end the trade war by describing the hardships they are facing. Farm incomes in […]
  • Feb 7, 2019
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    Manoj Kewalramani and Anirudh Kanisetti discuss India’s draft regulations for Chinese social media apps, as well as startup ecosystems, how to think about China’s presence in India’s app market, and some off-the-beaten-track ideas on regulating fake news. Subscribe and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Castbox, Google Podcasts or any other podcast app.
  • Feb 7, 2019
    The Compound Eye – Feb 1, 2019 Policy in Focus – DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018: The Lok Sabha passed the DNA Technology Bill, 2018, 2018 on January 8. The Bill will now have to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha’s next session, failing which it can lapse. What does the Bill […]
  • Feb 6, 2019
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    Anupam Manur and Yazad Jal discuss the new ecommerce regulations that came into force on February 1 and how it affects major players like Amazon and Flipkart. The new e-commerce investment rules bar online retailers from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest, and also from making deals with sellers to […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
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    The defence budget for 2019 again brought into focus the unsustainable pension figures. This year, the Indian Army’s pensions and salaries alone amount to Rs 1.82 lakh crores – a whopping 42 % of the defence budget. But what do these numbers really mean for India’s military strategy? How can we relate these expenditures to […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Is it possible to consider no-first use as a means of bridging trust deficits between nuclear states? The present international system is as dangerous as it was in 1953 – at the start of the nuclear arms race. At least that’s what the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believes, as the Doomsday Clock remains at two minutes […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Could an ill-tempered tweet lead to nuclear war? A new bill in the US Senate aims to make it less likely. A new bill introduced in the Senate of the United States aims to establish a policy of no-first use (NFU) of nuclear weapons. At first glance, the bill dated January 30, 2019 seems to be a long […]
  • Feb 5, 2019
    Some debates, it seem, never go away. In the first half of the 19th century, France has some of the most extreme protectionist laws in the world. It had 58 prohibited items for import and 12 items for export. Ideas of free trade, espoused by Jean-Baptiste Say and Bastiat, had few takers. It would take away […]
  • Feb 4, 2019
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    US President Trump reiterated on 3rd Feb that US forces should withdraw from Afghanistan. He backed the ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban. In this episode, Nitin Pai, Gen Prakash Menon, and Pranay Kotasthane try to understand what this means for Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.
  • Feb 1, 2019
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    The National Sample Survey Office’s data showing that employment in 2017-18 has hit a 45-year low highlights the urgency of the jobs crisis situation in India. So in this episode, we discuss ideas for tackling unemployment in India.
  • Feb 1, 2019
    It’s not an overstatement to say that over the last twenty years, the world has grown increasingly used to American primacy and leadership. This primacy also spills over to the intellectual domain, where American perspectives and paradigms have shaped much of the field of International Relations. Alexander Dugin’s Last War of the World-Island attempts to […]

  • Jun 21, 2019
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    Download the Discussion Document in PDF Six out of the eight nuclear weapons states have not ruled out first use of nuclear weapons. This document examines why states choose first use policies and the challenges involved in maintaining such a position. States can be motivated to acquire nuclear weapons for both existential reasons and the […]
  • Jun 20, 2019
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    Download the report in PDF This report argues that the Indian government must consider the strategic implications of allowing Huawei to have a role in building and operating India’s 5G network infrastructure. While there exists an economic rationale for providing Chinese telecom vendors access to the Indian market, these benefits need to be weighed against […]
  • Jun 3, 2019
    Download the doctrine here Yogakshema बलं शक्ति: | सुखं सिद्धि:| Strength is power. And well-being is the goal. (Arthashastra, 6:2-31,32) To create and defend a conducive environment for yogakshema (well-being, prosperity, and happiness) of all Indians. At this stage of India’s development, national security is primarily focused on protecting and promoting India’s economic development. a. As […]
  • May 3, 2019
    By Shambhavi Naik Download the Discussion Document in PDF Gene editing, synthetic biology, and improved delivery systems have reinvigorated the attention to biological weapons. Furthermore, the Biological Weapons Convention has repeatedly failed to agree to a verification mechanism, giving rise to suspicions that state actors may still be experimenting with biological weapons. Further, non-state actors […]
  • Apr 9, 2019
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    By Manoj Kewalramani, Anirudh Kanisetti, and Kunaal Kini Download the study in PDF A canal along the Isthmus of Kra could alter the strategic calculus for states across Southeast Asia, with China expected to benefit the most. In light of recent discussions around building the canal with the help of Chinese investors, this study examines […]
  • Mar 19, 2019
    ​Madhav Chandavarkar, Ajay Patri, and Divij Joshi Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to […]
  • Jan 17, 2019
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    Executive Summary In India, reform advocacy for the Intelligence community has largely been focused around parliamentary scrutiny over the intelligence agencies and removal of defunct ones. These suggested reforms, however, tend to overlook what is at the core of intelligence – people.  The success of intelligence operation is defined by the capability of officers conducting […]
  • Dec 31, 2018
    The Justice Srikrishna Committee (formally called the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B N Srikrishna) is tasked with framing a robust data protection law for India. In November, 2017, the Committee released the White Paper – exploring the contours of data protection legislation across the world, and called upon stakeholders to comment […]
  • Dec 19, 2018
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    By Pranay Kotasthane, Devika Kher, Pavan Srinath, and Aashish Chajjer Download the paper in PDF Financing public health in India is a vital challenge. As a response, the Union government transfers funds to the lower tiers of government, specifically meant to improve the public health services. The stated goal of specific transfers is to ensure […]
  • Dec 4, 2018
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    Mobilised violence is detrimental to the democratic fabric of India. It prevents individuals from enjoying their right to speak, move and conduct business freely. It can also cause injuries and loss of life to bystanders, in addition to significant economic costs from a cessation of economic activity and damage to property. In this report, ‘mobilised violence’ is defined as an act or series of acts of violence committed by a group with the intent of furthering a political purpose.
  • Oct 12, 2018
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    By Ajay Patri and Manasa Venkataraman Executive Summary This document contains recommendations and comments in response to the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 (Bill) released by the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B. N. Srikrishna (Justice Srikrishna Committee) in July 2018. At the outset, we welcome the release of the Bill […]
  • Oct 1, 2018
    By Manoj Kewalramani Download the paper in PDF Executive Summary In 2017, the Chinese government unveiled a plan to develop the country into the world’s primary innovation centre for artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. In doing so, it identified AI as a strategic industry, crucial for enhancing economic development, national security and governance. This report […]
  • Sep 18, 2018
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    Executive Summary In 2017, the Doklam plateau became a flashpoint for the Asian powers, India and China. China’s tactics in Doklam are clear examples of its general “salami-slicing” strategy, a policy of gradual encroachment onto disputed territory where other claimants are forced to accede to a new status quo tilted in China’s favour. This Discussion […]
  • Aug 29, 2018
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    By Manasa Venkataraman and Ajay Patri The Takshashila Institution convened a Roundtable on 10 August 2018 to discuss issues arising from the documents released by the Justice Srikrishna Committee on 27 July 2018. These documents included the report titled A Free and Fair Digital Economy: Protecting Privacy, Empowering Indians and the draft Personal Data Protection Bill, […]
  • Aug 1, 2018
    By Anupam Manur Download the paper in PDF [620 KB] Executive Summary Multi-sided platforms possess unique characteristics that differentiate them from a normal market structure. The presence of direct and indirect network effects, high switching costs, price parity clauses, vertical integration, and differentiated pricing structures between the two sides of the platform are unique to […]
  • Jul 25, 2018
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    By Pavan Srinath, Pranay Kotasthane, Devika Kher, Aashish Chhajer Download the paper in PDF [2 MB] Executive Summary Health policy is an essential pillar of human welfare. Given the high degree of externality, the State has to play a significant role in health and healthcare provision. Unfortunately, evidence shows that public spending on healthcare in […]
  • Jul 9, 2018
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    By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, and Pranay Kotasthane Download the Discussion Document in PDF [1.8 MB] Executive Summary “The New World Order” is a phrase often used but rarely understood. This discussion document proposes an analytical framework to decode what a New World Order means for India. The document presents a flexible action portfolio to […]
  • Jun 20, 2018
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    By Dr. Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [1 MB] The Pasthun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), a powerful civil and human rights movement, has rattled Pakistan’s political and military establishment by drawing huge crowds. The merger of the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) can […]
  • May 22, 2018
    By Shambhavi Naik Download the Slidedoc in PDF [1.5 MB] Gene drives are being explored for alleviating vector-borne infectious diseases however, the risks of employing them need to be understood. This Slidedoc assesses the potential use of gene drives in India by performing a stage-wise risk assessment of deploying gene drive. Gene drive mosquitoes are […]
  • May 7, 2018
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    By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [2.5 MB] Executive Summary The Doklam crisis is evidence that the regional security dynamic in the neighbourhood is being challenged. As Bhutan readies for its third National Assembly elections later this year, India must act to address Bhutanese concerns that are weakening the […]
  • Apr 27, 2018
    By Manoj Kewalramani Download the Assessment in PDF [1.1 MB] Executive Summary Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Wuhan for a two-day informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27 and 28, 2018. The two leaders are expected to discuss “issues of overarching, long-term and strategic importance” along with changes in the […]
  • Apr 10, 2018
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    By Sudha Ramachandran, Hamsini Hariharan, and Shibani Mehta Download the Assessment in PDF [700 KB] Executive Summary The victory of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in the local bodies’ elections in Sri Lanka in February reflects public dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition’s performance. It also indicates that Rajapaksa continues to […]
  • Mar 10, 2018
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    By Anirudh Kanisetti, Hamsini Hariharan, and Manoj Kewalramani Download the Discussion Slidedoc in PDF [1.4 MB] This Slidedoc presents a strategic framework that provides insights into China’s behaviour and highlights various alternative policies that China may consider for engagement in the Indian Subcontinent. An underlying assumption is that China is modeled as a rational actor […]
  • Feb 21, 2018
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    By Rahul Matthan, Manasa Venkataraman, and Ajay Patri Download the Policy Advisory in PDF [650 KB] The Justice Srikrishna Committee (formally called the Committee of Experts under the Chairmanship of Justice B N Srikrishna) is tasked with framing a robust data protection law for India. In November, 2017, the Committee released the White Paper – […]
  • Jan 12, 2018
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    By Anirudh Kanisetti, Anupam Manur, Pranay Kotasthane, and Akshay Alladi Download the Discussion Document in PDF [5 MB] Over the next quarter century, the international order is likely to change considerably. A new geopolitical and macroeconomic context will necessitate a flexible strategy to maximise India’s national interest. In this Discussion Document, an analytical framework is […]
  • Jan 5, 2018
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    Download the Blue Paper in PDF [430 KB] This Blue Paper was prepared as a result of a roundtable discussion organised by the Takshashila Institution on 15 December 2017, based on the Discussion Document: A Framework for Governing Gene Editing. The discussion document developed an analytical framework to differentiate gene editing technologies into three broad […]
  • Dec 19, 2017
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    By Pranay Kotasthane and Vinay Kumar Singh Download the Working Paper in PDF [640 KB] Abstract The views of de Zwart (2015) related to the conflation of terms, “unintended consequences” and “unanticipated consequences”, the necessity to maintain their distinction and the need to take into account the “unintended but anticipated” consequences as a separate category […]
  • Oct 18, 2017
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    By Rahul Matthan, Manasa Venkataraman, and Ajay Patri Download the policy advisory in PDF [418 KB] This policy advisory is a curated set of responses to the discussion paper issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, seeking comments and suggestions on the creation of data protection laws. Executive Summary There is an urgent need […]
  • Oct 18, 2017
    This policy advisory is a curated set of responses to the discussion paper issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, seeking comments and suggestions on the creation of data protection laws. Executive Summary There is an urgent need to bring forth effective data protection norms in India. However, these norms must be introduced and […]
  • Oct 17, 2017
    By Anand Arni Download the assessment here [0.3MB PDF] This assessment takes a closer look at the events leading to the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan. Key judgments from the assessment are: it is likely that this release is an offering presented by Pakistan before the Mattis/Tillerson visit to Pakistan. A clearer indication […]
  • Oct 13, 2017
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    By Madhav Chandavarkar, Anirudh Kanisetti, Shambhavi Naik, and Ajay Patri Download the Discussion Document in PDF [1.2 MB] Executive Summary Gene editing offers many benefits. They range from basic research that can enhance the scientific understanding of gene functions to practical applications like improved healthcare and agricultural production. At the same time, like other developing […]
  • Oct 11, 2017
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    Download the Blue Paper in PDF [480 KB[ This Blue Paper was prepared as a result of a roundtable discussion organised by the Takshashila Institution on 4 September 2017, based on the Discussion Document, Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection. The discussion document brings forth a rights-based model (Rights Model) to help secure […]
  • Oct 11, 2017
    This Blue Paper was prepared as a result of a roundtable discussion organised by the Takshashila Institution on 4 September 2017, based on the Discussion Document, Beyond Consent: A New Paradigm for Data Protection. The discussion document brings forth a rights-based model (Rights Model) to help secure the interests of a data subject sharing his […]
  • Sep 23, 2017
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    By Madhav Chandavarkar, Anirudh Kanisetti, Ajay Patri, and Shambhavi Naik Download the Slides in PDF [460 KB] Gene editing, the idea of modifying genes, has long been the stuff of science fiction. But recent advancements in genetic editing has brought the discourse surrounding genetic editing to the forefront. Much of the discourse on gene editing, […]
  • Sep 11, 2017
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    By Pranay Kotasthane, Guru Aiyar, and Nitin Pai This is a draft of a chapter submitted to Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Pakistan, August 2017, Edited by Aparna Pande, ISBN: 9781138903715 Download the book chapter [PDF] Pakistan is not one geopolitical entity, but two: the putative state (represented currently by a civilian government), and the military—jihadi […]
  • Jul 20, 2017
    By Rahul Matthan Download the Discussion Document in PDF [800 KB] EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Data protection is confined by consent (Consent Model). Once a data subject’s consent is obtained, a data controller is free to collect, process and use such data for the specified purpose and will not be liable for any consequences that might result […]
  • Jul 7, 2017
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    By The Takshashila Geostrategy Team The situation in the India-China border looks tense as the region is experiencing one of the longest impasse between Indian and Chinese troops. If the situation escalates into a potential conflict, the costs for both India and China are significantly high. This graphical representation provides an analysis of how India […]
  • Jul 7, 2017
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Data protection is confined by consent (Consent Model). Once a data subject’s consent is obtained, a data controller is free to collect, process and use such data for the specified purpose and will not be liable for any consequences that might result from its actions. This places the onus on an individual to […]
  • Jun 14, 2017
    By Pranay Kotasthane Download the paper in PDF [2.3 MB] The India-Pakistan conflict has variously been described as an ‘enduring rivalry’ or a ‘protracted conflict’ — characterised by its long duration, recurrence of armed exchanges, and the involvement of state and non-state actors. This entrenched conflict began with the birth of the two states in […]
  • Jun 12, 2017
    Download the slides as PDF [455 KB] The sharing of waters between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu of the Kaveri river has been the source of a serious political conflict between the states. The current river water management system system relies on court-administered water quotas, which is broken and dysfunctional. These slides propose to replace it […]
  • Jun 6, 2017
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    By Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Download the book chapter in PDF [214 KB] The debate of liberty versus security gains special significance in India with the emergence of Radically Networked Societies (RNSs). A Radically Networked Society is defined as a web of hyper connected individuals, possessing an identity (imagined or real), and motivated by […]
  • Feb 8, 2017
    By Nitin Pai Download the slides as PDF [680 KB] Climate change has emerged as an important threat multiplier across the world. The instability brought forth by climate change has resulted in natural disasters, droughts and resource shortages in several regions, sometimes resulting in drastic migration of populace. In the Indian context, the rising river […]
  • Dec 20, 2016
    By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [379 KB] India’s growth story remains highly attractive at a time of fragile global economic recovery, uneven growth and tremendous uncertainty around the global financial and commodity markets. However, taking the economy to a higher growth trajectory over the medium and long term requires considerable […]
  • Dec 4, 2016
    By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [121 KB] The ruling party has hailed the Prime Minister’s announcement of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes becoming invalid as an historic and unprecedented attack on black economy. Conversely, the opposition has called the move a ‘monumental blunder’ and an ‘organised loot.’ For the most part, […]
  • Dec 1, 2016
    by Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the Analysis in PDF [0.8MB] These slides interpret the “surgical strikes” conducted after the Uri terrorist attacks, using the India—Pakistan Conflict Escalation Framework. Based on this framework, the document proposes factors that can help make an Operational Conventional Retaliation work. This paper was presented at  the Takshashila Roundtable on […]
  • Nov 30, 2016
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    By Anupam Manur and Manasa Venkataraman Download the discussion document in PDF An Account of Unaccounted Income is a discussion document that takes an in-depth look at India’s unaccounted economy. It is important to distinguish between different categories of unaccounted economy, each of which has different method of functioning and different implications for the economy. […]
  • Nov 29, 2016
    Download the Blue Paper in PDF[526kB] This Blue Paper on the contemporary role of airpower was prepared as a result of discussions with AVM Arjun Subramaniam. The discussions were held as part of Takshashila’s Bangalore Fellows Programme. The Blue Paper addresses the following questions: How does India go towards a mixed force structure of manned […]
  • Nov 23, 2016
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    By Madhav Chandavarkar and Manasa Venkataraman Download the Discussion Document in PDF (248 KB) Executive Summary The law for defamation in India impedes free speech more than it protects reputations. While it is vital to protect an individual’s right to reputation, this must not come at the cost of the right to criticise as the […]
  • Nov 23, 2016
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    By Nitin Pai and Anupam Manur Download India’s Currency Reform 2016 in PD (455 KB) The recent withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes as legal tender has evoked various responses. On one hand the government’s stance is that this will reduce a large portion of unaccounted money (also popularly known as black […]
  • Nov 2, 2016
    By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [442 KB] Given the political inclination to indulge in fiscal profligacy, it is important to ensure calibration of rule based fiscal policy to provide space to conduct monetary policies. Although there has been considerable progress in the conduct of rule based fiscal policy and ensuring […]
  • Oct 7, 2016
    The Takshashila Institution and the US Consulate, Chennai, hosted a roundtable conference on reviewing India’s coastal security architecture at The Hyatt MG Road, on 23 September 2016. The roundtable discussion brought together experts who brainstormed ideas to secure India’s coastline, effectively and efficiently. The following slides provide an overview of the event, the key challenges […]
  • Aug 17, 2016
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    Pranay Kotasthane and Varun Ramachandra Analyse the State’s Finances after the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC). Download the Full Publication in PDF (114KB) Analysing the second Karnataka budget since the Fourteenth Finance Commission award, it is noted that, as assured, more fiscal space is made available to the state government. With greater untied funds, the state […]
  • Aug 12, 2016
    The Indo-Pacific region has witnessed a huge surge in economic interaction, demographics and transnational security in recent years. The 2016 Australian Defence White Paper affirms that this is Australia’s region however, this is a vast maritime zone engaging the interests of various nations. These include India, Japan, China, the United States in addition to Indonesia, […]
  • Aug 10, 2016
    Capacity Analysis for Evacuation of Indian Diaspora By Guru Aiyar, Takshashila Fellow Download the brief in PDF format (889KB) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since 1991, India has been involved in six major evacuations from West Asia alone. Mass evacuations have become a recurrent feature and it is very likely that the Indian government will be called upon for […]
  • Jun 9, 2016
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    Privatising Film Certification: Towards a Modern Film Rating Regime Madhav Chandavarkar, Adhip Amin, Shikha Pathak, Siddarth Gore, Devika Kher and Guru Aiyar, The Takshashila Institution Download the policy advisory in PDF format (508KB) Executive Summary The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is in charge of the regulation of the exhibition of films in India under […]
  • Feb 18, 2016
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    India’s Policy towards Myanmar: Interests, determinants and risk factors Guru Aiyar and Priya Ravichandran, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (160KB) Executive Summary Myanmar’s elections in November 2015 have given a resounding verdict in the favour of National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. As a […]
  • Feb 2, 2016
    Implementation of Pune’s City Parking Policy In response to the draft public parking policy of Pune Municipal Corporation Siddarth Gore, Scholar Centre for Smart City Governance, The Takshashila Institution Read the full Policy Brief [350KB PDF] Executive Summary The draft parking policy of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is based on progressive economic and well as […]
  • Jan 9, 2016
    Sustained Dialogue Process as India’s Pakistan Policy: An assessment Rohan Joshi and Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (160KB) Executive Summary A prevalent view in India is that a sustained dialogue at the highest levels is the only realistic chance for peace with Pakistan. In this paper, we systematically […]
  • Jan 8, 2016
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    Quality of Service Based Differential Pricing for Data Services In response to comments sought by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Differential Pricing for Data Services Sudeep Divakaran, Pranay Kotasthane and Pavan Srinath, The Takshashila Institution Takshashila Policy Advisory 2016-01 This document is the authors’ formal submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). […]
  • Dec 15, 2015
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    Distance from Delhi: Essays on Geopolitics, Economics and Public Policy by Anupam Manur, Devika Kher, Karthik Shashidhar, Madhav Chandavarkar, Pavan Srinath, Pranay Kotasthane, Priya Ravichandran, Sarah Farooqui, Rohan Joshi, Varun Ramachandra and Saurabh Chandra Edited by Sarah Farooqui Takshashila Institution Press 2015 ISBN: 978-8193197646 Rs. 295 About the book: India is not New Delhi and New Delhi is not India, though sometimes this gets […]
  • Dec 15, 2015
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    A Visible Hand by Narayan Ramachandran Edited by Anupam Manur Takshashila Institution Press 2015 ISBN: 978-8193197608 Rs. 295 About the book: A Visible Hand is a collection of essays from Narayan Ramachandran on the intersection of Economics, Politics, and Society. They offer a fresh perspective and original take on many aspects of emerging India – from the political […]
  • Dec 10, 2015
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    A Global Relocation Insurance to address the Challenge of International Migration from Climate Change Pavan Srinath, Pranay Kotasthane, Varun Ramachandra and Sarah Farooqui Takshashila Policy Brief 2015-03. Read the Policy Brief [177KB PDF] Executive Summary India has the opportunity to take the lead in setting a new agenda for international climate change discussions. India should propose a ‘Global […]
  • Nov 29, 2015
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    Case Study of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in the UK: Insights for India Shahana Sheikh and Mukul G. Asher Read the full case study in PDF [479KB] Abstract This paper has two main objectives. The first is to analyse United Kingdom’s experience of of more than two decades of PPP method or procurement in […]
  • Nov 23, 2015
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    Impact of Fourteenth Finance Commission, Karnataka Budget, 2015–16 Pranay Kotasthane and Varun K Ramachandra, The Takshashila Institution Commentary in Economic & Political Weekly, Vol – L No. 46-47, November 21, 2015 Download the full publication in PDF (146KB) Executive Summary This article identifies the Karnataka government’s responses and adjustments to the Fourteenth Finance Commission as a result […]
  • Aug 26, 2015
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    A Case Study of Metronet PPP in the UK: Implications for India Shahana Sheikh, Mukul G. Asher and V. Ramakrishnan Read the full case study here[504 KB] Abstract This paper analyses the challenges faced by the policy makers in the U.K. in designing, managing, and winding up of a Metronet Public-Private-Partnership (Project), with a value […]
  • Aug 24, 2015
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    The looming United States pivot towards containing China’s influence V. Anantha Nageswaran and Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (315KB) Executive Summary The United States has played a big role in the economic and political transformation of China since the Sino-Soviet clashes in 1969. This long run seems to […]
  • Aug 13, 2015
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    Economic Reasoning and Social Policy Mukul Asher, Councillor at the Takshashila Institution Based on a keynote address to 12th East Asian Social Policy (EASP) Conference, 
 “Social Policy and Governance in East Asia” in Singapore, July 30-31, 2015. Download the discussion document in PDF Format (507KB) ABSTRACT There is growing consensus that in the 21st century, broad based […]
  • Jul 26, 2015
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    The India—Pakistan conflict escalation framework Pranay Kotasthane, Pavan Srinath, Nitin Pai and Varun Ramachandra, The Takshashila Institution Download the discussion document in PDF format (339KB) Executive Summary The India—Pakistan conflict has variously been described as an ‘enduring rivalry’ or a ‘protracted conflict’ — characterised by its long duration, recurrence of armed exchanges, and the involvement […]
  • Jul 13, 2015
    Mapping India’s response to Iran’s changing global status and regional influence Sumitha Narayanan Kutty, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution (2014—2015) Download the Policy Brief in PDF Format (1MB) Executive Summary The time is now apt to calculate how Iran’s international standing and its regional influence play out in the medium-to-long term and to prepare New […]
  • Jun 19, 2015
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    The Eightfold Path to India’s Nuclear Fuel Supply Security Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane Book chapter in  Energy Security Challenges: Non Traditional Security Planning in India by Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi. Read the ebook in PDF [704KB] Summary This chapter presents eight principles to help India secure its nuclear energy infrastructure. The eightfold path […]
  • May 31, 2015
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    Conference Paper: ICT Governance Agenda For BRICS — An Eightfold Path by Pranay Kotasthane & Nitin Pai as part of VII BRICS Academic Forum, organised by the NCI BRICS under the chairmanship of the Russian Federation in the BRICS, held in central Moscow hotel Four Seasons Hotel Moscow 22-23 May 2015 An Eightfold path to […]
  • May 20, 2015
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    The Eightfold Path to Nuclear Fuel Supply Security Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the Discussion Document in PDF format (1.0MB) Executive Summary This document presents eight principles to help India secure its nuclear energy infrastructure. The eightfold path outlined below will allow India to exploit the nuclear option to achieve its […]
  • Apr 20, 2015
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    Networked Societies and Hierarchical States: The Emerging Challenge to Political Order Nitin Pai and Sneha Shankar Conference paper in Promoting Democracy for Creating a Better and Peaceful World: Regional, National and Local Perspectives Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. Read the full paper in PDF [364 KB] Introduction The structure of the modern nation-state was forged […]
  • Apr 17, 2015
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    Public Procurement Legislation Essential for Improving Public Financial Management in India Mukul G. Asher, Tarun Sharma and Shahana Sheikh In response to input sought by the Ministry of Finance on the 2012 Public Procurement Bill. Read the full Policy Brief [179 KB] Executive Summary The new Indian government elected in May 2014 has commendably decided […]
  • Apr 9, 2015
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    Book Chapter: Promoting human rights in the Indo-Pacific: Prospects, drivers and constraints by Nitin Pai and Sushant K Singh in Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy: India Amnesty International Netherlands Abstract India can be a partner to governments and organisations seeking to promote human rights in the Indo-Pacific region. Unlike most other powers in this region, […]
  • Mar 3, 2015
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    The Economics of Derivatives by TV Somanathan and V Anantha Nageswaran Cambridge University Press 2015 ISBN: 9781107091504 Rs. 590 | $85.50 About the book: While most books on derivatives discuss how they work, this book looks at the contributions of derivatives to overall economic well-being. It examines both the beneficial and adverse effects of derivatives trading […]
  • Nov 20, 2014
    A Survey of India’s Energy Prospects in the Middle East Region Kabir Taneja, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution Download the Discussion Document in PDF format (1.0MB) Executive Summary Oil and natural gas are expected to remain India’s main source of energy in the coming two to three decades, and India needs to steadily increase and […]
  • Nov 13, 2014
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    Risks to India’s national security from tensions along the Iran-Pakistan border Sumitha Narayanan Kutty and Pranay Kotasthane, The Takshashila Institution Download the Takshashila Strategic Assessment in PDF format (0.3MB) Key Judgements Border confrontations between Iran and Pakistan have risen sharply since February 2014, when five Iranian border guards were abducted by the Jaish ul-Adl Sunni militant group […]
  • Oct 29, 2014
    Reforming ONGC Videsh for India’s Energy Security Ameya Naik, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution Download the Policy Brief in PDF format (1.0MB) Executive Summary ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is the overseas arm of ONGC, India’s primary nationalised oil company. OVL can and must play a critical role in ensuring India’s energy security, which must involve […]
  • Oct 27, 2014
    China’s Economic Outlook in 2015: The Trump Card of a Yuan Devaluation V Anantha Nageswaran, Co-Founder and Fellow for Geoeconomics, the Takshashila Institution. Abstract China’s real economy grew at an average rate of 9.8% annually for the last thirty-four years, up to 2013. In October 2014, the International Monetary Fund declared China to be the world’s largest […]
  • Oct 13, 2014
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    Download the full paper in PDF [53 KB] Terrorism is a major security concern in India and Pakistan. Both nations have been victims of vicious acts of terror and have continually blamed each other. As new threats are emerging in this field it is time to look at implementing remedial measures. The India-Pakistan Intelligence Cooperation […]
  • Jul 29, 2014
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    Helping Karnataka’s industries reach new heights: Industrial policy recommendations for 2014 Pavan Srinath, Nitin Pai, Narayan Ramachandran and Varsha Ramachandran Read the policy advisory [170KB] Abstract: This policy advisory constitutes the recommendations of the Takshashila Institution for Karnataka’s draft Industrial Policy 2014-2019, as well as a few questions for the drafting committee. The advisory recommends the […]
  • Jul 7, 2014
    This Discussion Document provides directions for the 2014 and future budgets focussing on the budget-making processes, subsidies, fiscal dominance of monetary policy, inflation expectations, bank ownership and fiscal consolidation.
  • Jul 3, 2014
    Bringing IT Act 2000 in Alignment with the Constitution In response to input sought by the Law Commission of India on media and privacy Rohan Joshi and Ranjeet Rane, The Takshashila Institution Takshashila Policy Advisory 2014-01 This document is the authors’ formal submission to the Law Commission of India. The commission floated a Consultation Paper […]
  • Jul 2, 2014
    Transition to Labor Law Reform: State-Level Initiatives &Informal Sector Labor Relations Hemal Shah, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 50, No. 1, July 2014 Abstract The 1991 economic reforms in India quadrupled growth, but kept good quality jobs stagnant. About 93 percent of the workforce is employed in the […]
  • Jun 29, 2014
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    Resolving the Indo-Bangladesh Maritime Dispute Piyush Singh and Pranay Kotasthane, the Takshashila Institution This discussion document investigates the Indo-Bangladesh maritime dispute and presents policy options for the Indian government. Indo-Bangladesh relations have been consistently hit by several contentious issues. One of these challenges is the longstanding maritime dispute over territorial waters and exclusive economic zones […]
  • Mar 12, 2014
    Making India’s Labour Market More Flexible Hemal Shah, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution This policy brief presents a workable approach to labour reforms, to break six decades of deadlock. These are reforms that can result in marginal progress that can ease the transition to bigger reforms in the future. Small tweaks to social security coverage […]
  • Aug 27, 2013
    Book Chapter: India and International Norms: R2P, Genocide Prevention, Human Rights, and Democracy Nitin Pai, Co-Founder and Director of the Takshashila Institution in Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order W.P.S. Sidhu, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Bruce Jones Brookings Institution Press, 358 pages. (2013) Buy the book on Amazon. Introduction The doctrine of […]
  • Aug 26, 2013
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    Book Chapter: India and International Norms: R2P, Genocide Prevention, Human Rights, and Democracy Richard Gowan and Sushant K. Singh. Sushant is a fellow for national security at the Takshashila Institution. in Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order W.P.S. Sidhu, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Bruce Jones Brookings Institution Press, 358 pages. (2013) Buy […]
  • Aug 1, 2013
    Towards greater labour market flexibility: Issues and Options Hemal Shah, Scholar at the Takshashila Institution This report proposes how we could think about a workable approach to labour market reform, different from the polarised debates we have seen so far. It recommends that such an approach could be started by making small tweaks to social […]
  • Jul 10, 2013
    By Rohan Joshi, Fellow at the Takshashila Insitution Executive Summary As part of the 2011-­2012 annual report of the Department of Telecommunications, the Government of India formally announced its decision to implement a Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) for the “lawful interception and monitoring” of electronic communication channels in the country. The rapid acceptance of mobile […]
  • May 26, 2013
    The ambush of a convoy of Congress party leaders in Chhattisgarh on May 25th, 2013, was one of the most ambitious attacks by the Maoists. It was a well-planned attack and shows a complete security and intelligence failure. The most pressing challenge for the state government is to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process for the forthcoming assembly elections.
  • May 18, 2013
    This issue brief discusses the implications of elections to 272 directly elected seats of Pakistan’s National Assembly earlier this month. The elections resulted in a huge vote of confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s leadership.
  • May 2, 2013
    The Chinese People's Liberation Army's incursions into the Depsang plains in eastern Ladakh in April have brought the boundary issue back into focus in India's relations with China. This brief summarises what is happening, analyse why and suggest what India could do about it.
  • Apr 26, 2013
    On Sunday, January 6th, 2013, Pakistani troops attacked an Indian patrol near Churunda along the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir, killing two soldiers and mutilating their bodies. In this case study, Nitin Gokhale, security & strategic affairs editor of NDTV, presents the events as they unfolded in the first two weeks of January 2013.
  • Apr 16, 2013
    Appointed by the Government of India in 2011, the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) submitted its report in March. Had this Commission completed its work before 2008, it might have stood a better chance of being taken seriously for its assumptions were valid in a world dominated by finance and before the crisis seriously undermined them. The pro-cyclical nature of financial markets and credit creation necessitates tight regulation of the sector.
  • Mar 12, 2013
    A preliminary policy brief A vast number of students, teachers, researchers and members of the public are unable to access research papers and data due to prohibitive terms imposed by publishers of international journals. We are in an unconscionable situation today where Indian taxpayer-funded research is unavailable to the Indian public because it is published […]
  • Jan 1, 2013
    The following is Takshashila’s submission to the Justice J S Verma Committee on amendments to criminal law relating to safety and security of women: Information underpins all planning. At present, the only source of information about crimes in the country are the statistics collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). However, it is well […]
  • Dec 31, 2012
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    Complete set of policy research publications from 2011-12
  • Nov 27, 2012
    Book Chapter: Sailing deeper into an era of violent peace: Non-state threats to India’s maritime security Nitin Pai, Co-Founder and Director of the Takshashila Institution in The Rise of the Indian Navy: Internal Vulnerabilities, External Challenges Harsh V. Pant, Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series Ashgate, New Delhi. 202 Pages. (2012) Buy the book on Amazon. […]